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Your Baby Week One


Updated July 16, 2014

5 of 10

Week One Developmental Milestones
A smiling newborn baby, an important early developmental milestone.

A smiling newborn baby, an important early developmental milestone.

Photo © Tari Faris
Developmental milestones in the first week of life? Most parents don't expect that their newborn baby is going to be able to do much besides eat, sleep, and cry. While it will be some time before you watch your baby's first steps and hear her first words, there are some important developmental milestones to look for, even at this age. In your baby's first week, you can usually expect her to:
  • Have a spontaneous or almost reflexive smile, which can occur as early as your baby's first few days of life and should be present by the time she is 10 weeks old. This is different than the social smile that occurs in response to something, like when you talk or sing to your baby. Babies develop the social smile a little later, when they are one to two months old.

  • Have equal movements of her arms and legs on both sides of her body. For example, she shouldn't move one arm or one leg much more than the other, which could be a sign of injury or weakness.

  • Lift her head briefly when she is on her tummy, although remember that newborn babies have poor head control and need their head supported at all times.

  • Focus briefly on objects that are near her face and up to about 12 to 15 inches away, which is about the distance of a breastfeeding baby looking at her mother's face. She can also see simple, high contrast patterns and her vision will quickly mature over the next few months.

Your baby may also be able to respond to loud noises, and look at and follow objects toward the midline of her face.

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